If you’ve ever looked at someone on TikTok and wondered how their hair looks so shiny and super-light blonde, the Scandi hairline may be the reason.
Characterized by bright baby hairs around the hairline, the Scandi hairline trend rises in popularity each summer thanks to its ability to lend a sun-kissed glow to all hair types.
“The Scandi hairline is where only the baby hairs that travel around the front hairline are lightened just a few shades,” explains Monique McMahon, an international color educator and the founder of Que salon in Sydney, Australia.Like many hair color trends, it puts a name (marketing term) to a coloring technique that’s been happening in hair salons for years, and with 142.3 million video views on TikTok (and climbing), it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
The Scandi hairline is an add-on service that’s well-suited to anyone who already gets highlights (or wants to) and it’s a surprisingly low-maintenance way to add some va-va-voom to your existing color routine. Ahead, we break down the Scandi hairline trend that’s been popping off on TikTok and explain what many people don't know: it's not just for blondes.
What is the 'Scandi' hairline?
The goal of the Scandi hairline is to make the hair around your face look naturally lightened, giving your hair an overall lighter, glowy effect. “As if you spent all summer in the sun and have naturally bleached brighter hairs around the face,” says McMahon.
McMahon explains that, in the salon, the term ‘Scandi hairline’ refers to the application technique of the color, rather than the specific outcome of the service, as the result depends on the individual’s base hair color and desired level of brightness. “The Scandi hairline is an add-on service and is usually applied at the [shampoo bowl] once all foils or color have been rinsed off,” she says. “At the [bowl], we section out a very tiny number of the baby hairs and comb them forward before applying the color. Once applied to only the baby hairs, the color will stay on from anywhere between three and five minutes [before it’s rinsed].”
Is the Scandi hairline just for blondes?
Though you may immediately assume that the Scandi hairline only works for blonde and straight hair, it’s actually well-suited for all hair types. “This is why I love to say it refers to the technique and application, and not just the idea of a bright blonde,” says McMahon, who adds that it looks equally impactful on brunettes and curly hair types (though she does caution against trying a Scandi hairline if you have natural dark red or copper hair). “This technique is only recommended when you have had a full head of foils or part foil service to back up the result, ensuring the color looks naturally enhanced.”
For brunettes hoping to embrace the trend, McMahon does have some tips. "Make sure your stylist is using the correct color on your hairline, to enhance the new color that has just been done," she says. "For example, in the below video, we used a highlight tint to shift the hairline [just] half a shade lighter, and no more. This ensured a beige brunette result with no excess warmth — and no toner needed."
In short: if you have baby hairs, then you can also opt for a Scandi hairline.
Is the Scandi hairline high maintenance?
Though the color is applied to baby hairs up to the scalp, the Scandi hairline is surprisingly low maintenance. “It was a massive shock to us all how well this technique grew out,” admits McMahon, adding that you shouldn’t even notice it growing out when applied correctly. “I’d recommend doing it every other color if you’re coloring between six and eight weeks."
McMahon explains that the Scandi hairline will only have the desired effect when paired with a fresh color, so unfortunately, it isn’t an affordable way to stretch the time between your overall color sessions. (I personally book in for a few face-framing foils if I’m looking to brighten up the hair around my face if I don’t feel ready to commit to a longer session.)
What should I ask for at the salon?
Before showing up at your next color appointment and asking for a Scandi hairline, it’s always a good idea to call ahead, as not every colorist will be familiar with the technique. “I would get in contact with the salon prior and email some reference images or links (the videos above are a good example), and ask if the stylists in the team are trained and able to provide that service and result comfortably.” Hopefully, that will mean when you do arrive for your appointment, both you and the stylist will avoid any awkwardness.
This story was originally published on Refinery29 Australia.